Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card 2021 Review – Forbes Advisor

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card* vs. Citi® Double Cash Card

Since Citi launched its Double Cash card, 2% no-hassle cash back rewards has been the standard by which all other cash back cards are compared. Anyone looking for a simple cash back card to use for everyday spending should seriously consider the Citi Double Cash.

The card has no annual fee and earns an effective 2% on all purchases, awarded as 1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay for it.

In addition to earning 2% cash back, holders of premium Citi credit cards can convert their cash back into ThankYou Points and transfer those ThankYou Points to participating airline and hotel partners for the opportunity to get outsized value in award redemptions.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a no-annual-fee credit card with simple rewards, the Citi Double Cash is going to provide more value for you if you are not a Bank of America Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card* vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Another option worth a look if you are wanting a no-annual-fee credit card earning generous cash back is the Chase Freedom Unlimited. The Freedom Unlimited matches the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards card’s 1.5% cash back earnings, but then goes further with additional earnings in bonus categories.

In addition to earning 1.5% back on general purchases, the Freedom Unlimited awards 3% on purchases at drugstores and restaurants. Those card members booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards will be further rewarded with a generous 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase.

Finally, Chase rounds out their Freedom Unlimited offering by throwing in several consumer protection benefits, including purchase protection, extended warranty protection, auto rental collision damage waiver and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

If you spend heavily at restaurants, order takeout frequently, find 3% cash back at drugstores appealing or are intrigued by the addition of the consumer protection benefits, take a look at the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card* vs. Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card*

Prior to launching the Unlimited Cash Rewards card, Bank of America offered another credit card that earned 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases: The Bank of America Premium Rewards Card. Premium Rewards points can be redeemed for cash back as a statement credit or deposit into a Bank of America account, making the Premium Rewards card effectively a 1.5% cash back card. The Premium Rewards card carries a $95 annual fee.

Like the Unlimited Cash Rewards card, the Premium Rewards Card earns an effective 1.5% cash back everywhere, but it adds 2% earnings on travel and dining purchases. Through 12/31/2021, the 2% categories also include grocery stores.

The $95 annual fee of the Bank of America Premium Rewards card can be justified by a $100 annual airline incidental statement credit. Cardmembers enrolling in Global Entry or PreCheck can also receive a $100 credit toward Global Entry or PreCheck enrollment fees every four years. The card also comes with travel insurance protections including trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance and emergency evacuation and transportation assistance.

Preferred Rewards Gold, Platinum and Platinum Honors members receive bonus multipliers to the earnings on the Premium Rewards card, making the Premium Rewards card up to a 2.63% everywhere card. With the Preferred Rewards bonus multiplier, bonus categories earn up to 3.5% rewards.

If you can achieve Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors status, spend enough in airline incidentals to cover the annual fee and can take advantage of the increased earnings on travel, dining and grocery stores, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card is worth a look.

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